Joint Commodities Conference Staying in Durham for the Foreseeable Future
Not long after the 23rd Annual Joint Commodities Conference wrapped up, the executive committee met to discuss what went right, what went wrong, and where to go from here. CEO of the North Carolina Soybean Producers Association says that the RTP location was a success, the JCC will be staying there for the foreseeable future:
“The reason for that is that we had such a good turnout in the Triangle in 2012, we have 550 people, more or less, and also we had more exhibitors, I believe than we’ve ever had.”
Hall also said that the research presentations will go back to their original format of one at a time so that producers can attend all, not just one. NC Soybean Producers is the host of the 2013 Conference.
Ag Increasingly Worried About Worker Shortages
In these days of high unemployment, it’s hard to believe that there’s a shortage of workers. But, with spring rapidly approaching, American agriculture industries are increasingly worried about a growing labor shortage. An American Farm Bureau Federation economic analysis concluded that $5 billion to $9 billion in annual production is in jeopardy if the U.S. employee shortage cannot be filled.
Taiwan Zero Tolerance in Question
Washington is stepping up pressure on Taiwan to back down on its ban on ractopamine, a leanness- and growth-promoting drug used widely in pork and beef production in the United States. Taiwan's zero tolerance policy for the drug, which applies to both domestic production and imports, has become a critical barrier to further liberalizing trade between the two countries.
USDA’s Supply/Demand Report Held Little Surprise
The big news in Thursday morning’s USDA February supply/demand estimates was wheat. Rod Bain:
”Wheat price estimates were increased .20 cents from last month to $7.30 a bushel. That’s due in part to strong demand for US wheat exports and lower ending stock numbers.”
Corn stocks were projected lower, and export numbers for corn projected higher, soybean supply and demand numbers were unchanged from January.
Cover Crops Help Farmers and Communities
You may be seeing a little more green in fields that are usually fallow this winter, with off-season cover crops being used more than ever. Ryan Stockwell, Agriculture Program Manager for the National Wildlife Federation explains that cover crops promote healthy land, water, wildlife and sustained profitability:
“Cover crops help prevent nutrient pollution from entering waterways, which reduces costs for communities that rely on those water ways for their drinking water supplies. Cover crops also provide tremendous wildlife habitat, so for those of us who enjoy outdoor recreation, enjoy wildlife, hunting and fishing, these cover crops also provide valuable habitat as well as food source for wildlife. And finally cover crops can play a significant role in helping address and mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon into the soil, so that it reduces our overall greenhouse gas emission.”
Moving Ag Forward Through Science and Technology
Dr Patrick Moore – one of the founders of Greenpeace says over the last 20 years – sustainability has made great strides in agriculture…
”Since we started thinking about how we can conserve biodiversity in the context of agricultural landscapes, and how we can reduce negative impacts on water quality and all these things. And much of that has been made possible because of technological, genetic, biological advances that we have made. All this talk about going back to organic agriculture, kind of primitive methods where we hoe our weeds every day, is just completely backwards.”